From the Editor:

Remembering Frank Pollard


Has TV Changed the Way We Learn?
Using Visual Images Effectively


Good Samaritan, Compassion

Life, Eternity

Link of the Week

Preacher’s Bookshelf


And Finally…

"Let God’s promises shine on your problems."
(Corrie ten Boom)


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    Vol. 8, No. 4 January 27, 2009    

Michael Duduit

We recently lost one of our original contributing editors of Preaching magazine. Frank Pollard served as pastor of First Baptist Church of Jackson, Miss., from 1974 to 1980, and again from 1986 until his retirement in 2002. During the interim, Frank served three years as pastor of First Baptist in San Antonio, Texas, and then as the fifth president of Golden Gate Baptist Seminary.

In 1979, Time magazine featured Frank as one of the seven leading Protestant preachers in America. Anyone who heard him would not be surprised — he was a gifted communicator and a warm and loving pastor. For many years he was the voice of Southern Baptists as the principal preacher on "The Baptist Hour" broadcasts.

One of the things that amazed me about Frank was his memory. He often included lengthy poetic passages in his messages, spoken without notes. I asked him once how he did that, and he told me he would listen to and memorize the material as he walked each morning.

Frank Pollard will be remembered by all who knew him as a faithful pastor, a gifted preacher and a man whose life exhibited the grace of the Lord he loved.

Michael Duduit, Editor

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/MichaelDuduit

This week’s Preaching Podcast features an interview with Gabe Lyons, co-author (with Dave Kinnaman) of the book unChristian. Click here to listen.


In his excellent new book, The Power of Multi-sensory Preaching and Teaching (Zondervan), pastor Rick Blackwood notes: "Some neurological and cognitive experts believe multi-sensory technology has created a multi-sensory-dependent culture. In other words, modern technology has made many people in our culture dependent on more than one sense. Such people struggle to pay attention unless the teaching is presented in a form that fits their lives.

"Researchers believe early exposure to television and other forms of communication technologies have generated the onset of this dependency … Recent conclusions from the research indicate television may overstimulate and permanently rewire the developing brain to be visually dependent when it comes to attention span …

"In other words, many people who sit in our congregations, especially the younger people, have brains that are neurologically rewired and neurologically dependent on multi-sensory teaching. Their minds require multisensory teaching for maximum attention, comprehension and retention. Pastors, Christian teachers, and others who communicate the Word must come to terms with this reality.”  (Click here to learn more about The Power of Multi-sensory Preaching and Teaching.)


In a recent article for the PreachingTodaySermons.com newsletter, Kent Anderson offers some suggestions for ways to better utilize still images in support of the sermon. Among his ideas:

Start with the sermon. The best way to build a great PowerPoint presentation is to have great material. Garbage on the page will be garbage on the screen. A good presentation starts with a good sermon, clearly conceived, and carefully constructed. Be sure you have a clear grasp of the big idea of the sermon. PowerPoint will expose any fuzziness in sermon design, so the words have to be sharp. Theme statements ought to be short (12 words or less), simple (no conjunctions), declarative statements (not phrases) that can be spoken by the preacher. The heading for this paragraph, ‘Start with the sermon,’ is an example of the kind of focused wording that will communicate on screen.

Create visual metaphors. Preachers need to use fewer words and more visual metaphors in their PowerPoint presentations. Images come from a variety of sources. Some images can be found online for free. Other fee-for-service Web sites, such as www.photos.com or www.worshipphotos.com, can be helpful.

Less is more. Like a child with a new toy, preachers initially want to make use of all the bells, beeps and transitions the technology offers, but more is not necessarily better. Simple images and constructions are almost always stronger. As a general rule, 25 words on a single slide should be a maximum, and 12 to 15 slides in a presentation should be a ceiling. (Click here to read the full article.)


Would you like to invest a week and come away with your year’s preaching plan? Preaching magazine and Anderson University jointly are sponsoring the first Preaching Boot Camp, May 18-22, 2009, on the campus in Anderson, South Carolina. The focus of this year’s camp is on planning a preaching schedule, and the keynote speaker is Stephen Rummage, preaching pastor at Hickory Grove Baptist Church in Charlotte and author of the book Planning Your Preaching (Kregel). Other speakers will include Mike Glenn, Michael Duduit, Ryan Neal and more. Built into the schedule is time for participants to work on their own preaching plan for 2009-2010. To learn more, visit www.preachingbootcamp.com.


Frank Pollard told about a small, rural church, where the children decided to pantomime the story of the Good Samaritan. Olga, the best reader in the class, read the part about the man who went down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell among thieves who beat him up, robbed him and left him for dead in the ditch. The children were enacting this scene as she read. Then she read about the priest who passed by on the other side of the road, as a child played that part. Then she read of the Levite, who did the same.

Olga then read about the Samaritan who arrived on the scene, saw the man in the ditch, and cared for and helped him. Everyone was looking around for the child who was going to portray this scene, but no one walked out.

As they waited silently, a small boy on the front row was seen to punch his buddy next to him in the shoulder and say, "That’s you!"

His friend said, "No, it’s not! She told us last Sunday you were supposed to be the Good Samaritan."

The first one said, "She did not! She said you were supposed to!"

"No, she didn’t!"

Frank writes, "While the boys argued, the fellow just lay up on the stage and died. I wonder how many of us think God told somebody else to be the Good Samaritan!"  (Shared by Joe McKeever, www.joemckeever.com)


Bill Hybels tells about an interesting experience after a baptism service in his congregation’s church. He writes: "I bumped into a woman in the stairwell who was crying. I thought this was a little odd, since the service was so joyful. I asked her if she was all right.

"She said, ‘No, I’m struggling.’ She said, ‘My mom was baptized today. I prayed for her every day for almost 20 years. The reason I’m crying is because I came this close to giving up on her. At the five-year mark I said, "Who needs this? God isn’t listening." At the 10-year mark, I said, "Why am I wasting my breath?" At the 15-year mark I said, "This is absurd." At the 19-year mark I said, "I’m just a fool." But I just kept trying, kept praying. Even with weak faith I kept praying. Then she gave here life to Christ, and she was baptized today. I never will doubt the power of prayer again.’"  (SermonCentral newsletter)

From the January – February issue of Preaching …

In a "Past Masters" column about D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, David Stokes writes: "The most thoroughly discussed aspect of Lloyd-Jones’ view on preaching is of what he called ‘unction’ in preaching. This was a term he used to describe a desired state in the preaching moment, one that saw intense and thorough preparation meet the clear empowerment of the Spirit of God. He believed this ‘unction’ produced greater clarity, power and boldness in preaching. It was more than a merely human expression of urgency. It was being lifted up by God’s power as the Word preached was going forth.

"He reminded those students (and us by extension) they were not ‘simply imparting information.’ Rather, they were ‘dealing with pilgrims on the way to eternity … dealing with matters not only of life in the world, but with eternal destiny.’ To him, nothing could be ‘more urgent.’

"This ‘unction’ has a mysterious element to it, as described by him. He saw it as something that could not be conjured or manipulated, but the work of a Sovereign Lord. Yet, it was, to him, something to be desired above all other aspects of the preaching life and experience. He described it this way:

"’It gives clarity of thought, clarity of speech, ease of utterance, a great sense of authority and confidence as you are preaching, an awareness of a power not your own, thrilling through your own being, and an indescribable sense of joy. You are a man "possessed"; you are taken hold of and taken up. I like to put it like this — and I know of nothing on earth that is comparable to this feeling — that when this happens you have a feeling that you are not actually doing the preaching; you are looking on. You are looking on at yourself in amazement as this is happening. It is not your effort; you are just the instrument, the channel, the vehicle; Spirit is using you, and you are looking on in great enjoyment of this. That is what the preacher himself is aware of.’"

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Also in the January-February issue of Preaching: a series on missional preaching, including an article by Ed Stetzer and interviews with Stetzer and Dan Kimball, plus Al Mohler on Preaching & Theology and much more. Order your subscription today!

If you are one of the growing number of church leaders who are regularly blogging, then you may find this link helpful — a page containing 101 articles about ways to be a better blogger. Click here to check them for yourself.

"People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." (Rogers Hornsby)

Inside the Mind of Youth Pastors (Zondervan) by Mark Riddle will help you think through ways to develop a healthy youth ministry in your church, including what to look for in a youth pastor.


Another excellent resource for church leaders who want to strengthen their ministry to young people is Sustainable Youth Ministry: Why Most Youth Ministry Doesn’t Last and What Your Church Can Do About It (IVP) by Mark DeVries.


And fresh off the presses is Lost and Found: The Younger Unchurched and the Churches that Reach Them (B&H Books), by Ed Stetzer, Richie Stanley and Jason Hayes. If your church has a heart to reach young adults, the research and insights provided here will be an invaluable resource.

(Click on the title to learn more or order from Amazon.)


When she died in 1997 at the age of 122, Jeanne Calment was the oldest living human whose birth date could be authenticated. At the age of 120, she was asked to describe her vision for the future. She replied, "Very brief."


The reason a dog has so many friends is because he wags his tail instead of his tongue. — Anonymous
Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful. — Ann Landers
There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face. — Ben Williams
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself. — Josh Billings
The average dog is a nicer person than the average person. — Andy Rooney
We give dogs time we can spare, space we can spare and love we can spare. In return, dogs give us their all. It’s the best deal man has ever made. — M. Acklam
I wonder if other dogs think poodles are members of a weird religious cult. — Rita Rudner
A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance and to turn around three times before lying down. — Robert Benchley
Ever consider what our dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul — chicken, pork,  half a cow. They must think we’re the greatest hunters on earth! — Anne Tyler
Women and cats will do as they please, and men and dogs should relax and get used to the idea. — Robert A. Heinlein
If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you; that is the principal difference between a dog and a man. — Mark Twain

Children can be so honest. In fact, a Fort Pierce, Fla., woman is likely regretting the honesty of one particular little girl.

According to a Jan. 19 AP report, police went to the home of a 22-year-old woman to serve warrants for assault, harassing phone calls and a probation violation.

Officers said two men and a woman at the house told officers the woman had left, but then a 4-year-old child approached one of the officers and revealed the woman was under a bed.

Officers found the woman exactly where the child said she would be. She was arrested and is being held without bail.

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